From horizon to horizon, orange daisies take over the Namaqua National Park in spring. It’s a sight so beautiful and unique, it’ll take your breath away.
While the bees and butterflies keep themselves busy collecting pollen, the people who come to experience the magic often just sit in the shade and take it all in. That’s between making “daisy angels” and taking photos, both of which are irresistable activities in this surreal landscape.
The timing of the flowers and how many will bloom changes every year but its guaranteed that sometime between August and the beginning of October the dusty land will spring to life and, for a few vibrant weeks, this low-rainfall desert is completely transformed.
But Namaqualand, also known as the Succulent Karoo, isn’t only known for its daisies. It’s also rich in bulb flora and over 1000 of the estimated 3500 plant species that occur here are found nowhere else in the world.
From Cape Town, drive north on the N7 towards the Namibian border. You'll find Kamieskroon along this road, about 500km (a six-hour drive) from Cape Town, and 67km south of the larger Namaqualand town of Springbok. The park is close by, and well signposted from Kamieskroon.
The Kamieskroon Hotel runs excellent photographic tours and workshops. Book well in advance.
South African National Parks reservations
Tel: +27 12 428 9111
Namaqua National Park
Tel: +27 27 672 1948
Kamieskroon Hotel photographic workshops and tours
Tel: +27 27 672 1614
A day visit to the park costs about R50 per person.
There are a few easily accessible self-catering cottages in the park, as well as a guesthouse that can only be reached with 4x4 vehicles. There are also several spectacular but rustic campsites on the coast equipped only with eco loos. Most of these are only accessible by 4x4 and you have to bring your own water. In spring, you can also check-in to the Flowers Beach mobile safari camp at Koringkorrelbaai on the coast.
Undoubtedly spring. Depending on the timing and duration of winter rainfalls, the flowering usually happens between the beginning of August and the end of September.
A morning or a full day, unless you're planning to take the Caracal Eco Route or stay overnight.
To experience the heart of the succulent Karoo, you can take the Caracal 4x4 Eco Route, which is over 180km long and will take you deep into the park's newest lands.
The sea of flowers literally ends at the sea, between the Groen and Spoeg rivers, where even the beaches are edged with flowers. Sit still for long enough and a sighting of a rare Heaviside dolphin may even add an extra sprinkling of magic to your trip.
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